Beauty in Discomfort.

This place makes me look up, I barely looked up anymore.
I feel too much here, I feel everything.

It was half past 4 in the morning and I had tossed all night wondering what I would see in the morning. I rushed to my dashboard as I had done about 67 times already, it still wasn’t there instead I got a notice to hold on for stream 2. Relief flowed from my finger tips to the rest of my body; I didn’t have to think about this for another month.
The calls came in first, then messages flew in inquiring where I had been posted to. I didn’t want this clarion call, I really don’t want to serve.  I checked again this time, my fingers froze. I must be dreaming! it was all one big joke. I laughed first, swallowed hard then laughed again with a tear in my eye; I was shocked.
By Tuesday I had gotten myself ready, now I had one goal; relocation. We travelled six hours and my butt ached. I wanted to talk to the others, I tried to but I was fatigued. I looked outside; outside was green and serene.
They liked queues; we queued for everything but I wasn’t the only one. I saw the contempt on their faces too. We were all in this forest for a purpose.
My bed couldn’t have been smaller. The bathroom made my skin revolt, while I stood there wondering how to scoop the brownish icy water, the bugle was blown, it was time to double up; It was only 4: 30 am. We praised, prayed, sang the anthems, recited the pledge, then had breakfast. By 9 am, we were back for a lecture which ran till two, lunch followed. Then, I could sleep for an hour. At three, my skin burnt from the intensity of the sun’s rays the hit directly on us. They forced, pushed and yelled at us; I was 12 all over again. This went on for 20days. Some days, more intense than others.
Then I saw it, it was beautiful, it was bright and it made me smile.
This place makes me look up, I once loved looking up. Looking up makes me dream, it gives me hope, life is beautiful when I look up. Bright blue layered the skies with clouds that sat like cushions. The trees stood like pillars, spreading their green leaves over the rugged terrain. But there was this brown tree with no leaves.
They were so many people, a mix of diverse personalities from all backgrounds. Everyone I interacted with had something new and different to say. It is amazing how we all tend to have our own view of how the world works. In all of it, I learned what association could do to me and for me. There are the same types of people everywhere; the ones your mom told you to stay away from and the ones you should talk to. I started by picking their slangs, then their humour, then actions, sooner than later we were pretty much the same. I bid myself not to worry, it was just three weeks. What harm could wrong association do?
I learned gratitude, I have a good life. Things might not be perfect but I have a good life. I saw kids beg for leftovers, my heart bled as I watched a little girl move around barefooted. These people were poor but they were better off here than those outside; the ones further into the forest. I appreciated everything; water, knowledge, health, life, food, words. I met a girl who couldn’t talk but she could hear and see everything.
I made a promise to myself to have more. I want more of everything. Every day, different people from different walks of life gave us lectures about their experiences and tips for survival in this strange land, the ‘real world ’. I barely listened but when I did, I heard the same thing; belief and persistence. I’m certain that the other folks who listened attentively will never be the same. I decided I would give back in any way I can and to do that, I need  to become better in every way.
We were all scared of something, we all wanted something but we were afraid to talk. The people I met felt like family in a matter of days but we resisted talking to each other about each other; our dreams, our fears and our joys. We rather spoke about someone else, some event or distorted versions of our past. No one wanted any deep form of attachment not even me. While it made sense for all the reasons it still felt empty. I will probably never see these people again, at least not all of them . One thing for sure is, they made me laugh till my belly ached and that was enough.
God is alive. The fire that burnt in the fellowship was immeasurable. They were driven, had vision, they praised and prayed, turning a space of wooden benches into a Holy Spirit filled sanctuary. They challenged me to worship more. It was inspiring to watch the hand of God on young people.
Some got drunk every night, others prayed, some played all the sports, others participated in everything, some were everywhere, and again others hid from everything and everyone. It was three weeks but it felt like three months and really it is a lifetime. I wanted it to finish so bad, so I could come back home. I’m back now but I do not feel the same. I just spent three weeks of my life and I fear that, I might have complained for half the time.
But in all things i asked, what I learned from this experience?
Things wouldn’t always go the way you would like them to regardless, adapt and learn another way of life.
Be grateful, it could be worse.
Nothing lasts forever, it felt like forever but now it’s just another memory. Everything eventually fades.
The end is better than the beginning.
Change does not kill, it might hurt for a while but it wouldn’t kill except you let it.
People make memories not necessarily places. Meet more people.
Diversity is beautiful.
Three weeks is a lifetime.
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